Guess who's having a good recession?

The onset of recession has offered an opportunity to the powerful and the wealthy to seek to drive a wedge between those ordinary folk in Ireland who draw an income from the public purse and those who do not. The self-serving hostility towards the public sector that exists within corporate circles invariably reveals itself in the advocacy of a certain, predictable version of shock therapy. If those who are employed by the state were to be subjected to the same pressures and standards that prevail in the private sector, the argument goes, they would be whipped into line double quick.

Protests and Events

Shell to Sea Dublin: Launch of €540 billion election note
When: Tomorrow, 12 February at 14.00
Where: Top of Grafton Street

Student Nurses and Midwives protest against paycuts
When: Wednesday, 16 February at 11.30
Where: Departing from Parnell Square heading to the Department of Health

Commitment on Fees protest FG HQ
When: Wednesday, 16 February 16.00
Where: Fine Gael HQ, 51 Mount St Dublin

Austerity, mon amour

The really real world of what David McNally calls the neoliberal mutation requires a renewed lexicon. The 'necessity' of gouging public expenditure to reassure investors - dismayed by the very government debts that have guaranteed their survival - has given rise to an 'age of austerity'.

Yes, there is an alternative

Thus far, the general election campaign has been marked by 'don't hold me back' style commitments by the major parties to renegotiating the EU/IMF deal.

Love life? Love Enda

Following the launch of the Edelman Trust Barometer and Enda Kenny's affirmation that he stands for trust, trust and more trust, Eadaoin O'Sullivan looks at nodding dog syndrome and why some world views appear more credible than others.


Migrant workers must not be used as a political football

Integration is a two-way process, interculturalism enriches all our lives; migrants, you've been so vibrant, but now off you pop to where you come from. In advance of an election campaign in which prominent politicians with a track record of populist pronouncements will star, Siobhan O Donoghue outlines the precarious situation of many people who have migrated to Ireland, and sets out mimimum issues that any new government must address.

The health myths that have outlasted Mary Harney

Mary Harney may be gone from the health ministry but many of the myths (and bad policies) that the PDs propagated about the health system remain. In the first of a series of articles drawing out the neoliberal myths that have structured health policy, Sara Burke starts with some of the most basic.

Top of the myth list is the fundamental assumption that public healthcare is bad and private is good.